Ethanol plant planned for Spiritwood Energy Park receives EPA certificationSen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Great River Energy announced today that the Environmental Protection Agency has approved Renewable Fuel Standard-2 certification for the company’s Dakota Spirit AgEnergy facility in the Spiritwood Energy Park near Jamestown.
By: Sun Staff, The Jamestown Sun
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Great River Energy announced today that the Environmental Protection Agency has approved Renewable Fuel Standard-2 certification for the company’s Dakota Spirit AgEnergy facility in the Spiritwood Energy Park near Jamestown.
Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of GRE, will have a significant impact on the local economy, creating 36 direct jobs in the community. The project will also create approximately 275 trade and construction jobs during the 18-month construction period.
Hoeven last summer pressed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to expedite the approval process. A press release from Hoeven’s office said this notice of certification clears the way for GRE to market next-generation biofuels as part of a model energy complex.
The biorefinery will use 23 million bushels of No. 2 yellow corn to produce annually 65 million gallons of ethanol, as well as corn oil and distiller’s grains. The facility will be located adjacent to GRE’s Spiritwood Station, a combined heat and coal-fired power plant, which will provide excess steam to produce ethanol at the biorefinery.
Future growth opportunities for the biorefinery are also being explored, including emerging technologies such as cellulosic feed stocks, and the production of isobutanol, an organic compound used primarily as a solvent.
The facility will also incorporate technology to meet the EPA’s revised Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires cornstarch-based ethanol production facilities built after 2007 to have lifecycle carbon emissions 20 percent lower than conventional motor fuels.
The Spiritwood Energy Park complex includes Spiritwood Station, a coal-fired plant that produces both electricity and steam, and now the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy facility. CHS, a Fortune 500 company owned by agricultural cooperatives and farmers and ranchers, is also planning to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in the park to take advantage of shared resources and infrastructure.
Hoeven said the project will become a national example of how combined heat and power can be used to enhance industrial efficiencies and lower the carbon footprint of transportation motor fuels.
“With the addition of Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, the Spiritwood Energy Park brings to life the concept of energy colocation – partnering traditional and renewable energy facilities to create new syntheses and drive the new technology that will create more energy with better environmental stewardship,” Hoeven said. “GRE’s is taking a step into the future with this ambitious new facility, which will bring the energy and agriculture industries together and take our nation one step closer to energy security.”
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., also applauded the announcement in a press release.
“When Great River Energy reached out to me last year to let me know that they were at a standstill with EPA on the approval process and were in danger of having their financing pulled if the delays persisted, I made this an priority for my staff and I to help get this done,” Heitkamp said. “After exhaustive efforts by all parties involved and thanks to extensive preparation by Great River, another North Dakota ethanol biorefinery is on the cusp being up and running. I applaud Dakota Spirit AgEnergy’s efforts on its progress, and I look forward to continued collaboration with Dakota Spirit and other North Dakota stakeholders to lead the nation in energy development. The increase in North Dakota production of biofuels is not only good for our state’s economy, but it will help us to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil.”
Rep Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., the state’s only member of the U.S. House of Representatives, also praised the announcement.
“I am pleased the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy ethanol biorefinery achieved its renewable fuels certification. The ability of this project to utilize the synergies of the water supply, energy and agricultural resources in our state is an excellent demonstration of North Dakota ingenuity,” Cramer said. “Our dynamic economy serves as a leader for the rest of the nation. The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy ethanol biorefineries expected creation of several hundred jobs certainly maintains this reputation.”